Aroldis Chapman wasn’t overly impressive during his minor league rehab assignment, but the Reds have decided to activate him from the disabled list anyway. The hard-throwing left-hander could make his season debut tonight against the Rockies.
Chapman, who suffered facial fractures when he was hit by a comeback during spring training, allowed eight runs on seven hits and two walks while retiring just three batters over two appearances with Triple-A Louisville. Reports on his velocity were encouraging, so it appears that the Reds weren’t too worried about the results. According to C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Reds manager Bryan Price said this afternoon that he’ll move back into the closer role immediately.
Jonathan Broxton has functioned as the fill-in closer for the Reds since coming off the disabled list last month. He blew his first save of the season yesterday against the Rockies.
Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.
The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.
The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.
In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.